Spartanburg, SC Real Estate News

By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered a halt to foreclosure proceedings.  The reason for this is to allow home owners additional time to qualify for the Mortgage Modification Program and potentially remain in their home and avoid foreclosure. From a real estate point of view this is a positive step that should help stabilize the current market.  Not all, but many home owners will be able to remain in their homes and make their mortgage payments if they qualify for the program.  This should have an impact in two ways; reduce current inventories of homes for sale and increase the average price of homes that are sold therefore increasing property values.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
According to National Association of Home Builders these are the top five items that consumers want in their new home.  Having this information could be very valuable if your considering some updates or remodeling either for yourself or if you plan to put your home on the market. Top 5  Bathroom Features                                                  Kitchen Features Linen Closet               89%                                      Walk-in Pantry          86% Exhaust Fan               88%                                      Kitchen Island          80% Separate Shower       79%                                      Built-in Microwave   72% Water Temp Control  79%                                      Filtered Water           69% Whirlpool Tub             66%                           ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
 Price Range                           Months of                  Price Range                           Months of (Thousands)                                Inventory                    (Thousands)                            Inventory $0 - $100                                     8.50                         $350 - $400                               37.80 $100 - $125                               10.01                         $400 - $450                               19.41 $125 - $150                              13.65                         $450 - $500                               24.77 $150 - $200                               14.75                         $500 - $600                               62.25 $200 - $250                               15.80                         $600 - $...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
The announcement made this week (5/13/09), that the $8,000 Tax Credit can be used for down payment and closing cost is a real incentive for first time home buyers.  Most first time home buyers have trouble getting the money for a down payment and now that barrier has been removed. The program is scheduled to end December 1, 2009 so first time home buyers need to begin the process now as it will take some time to find and purchase their new home. •·         Obtaining financing qualifications                                  1 week •·         Finding their next home                                               2-3 weeks •·         Negotiating agreement, price and terms                         2 weeks •·         Repairs                                                                      ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
The Herald-Journal reported (May 13th) that the median home prices dropped for the first quarter of 2009.  These statistics were indeed accurate, but do they indicate a trend?  The answer may lie in the monthly numbers rather than the quarterly numbers. Last May we reached our high median price for the year at $130,000.  The economic landscape began to change in the fall and by the first of 2009 the bottom fell out.  As a result, the January median price was $109,000 and February $95,000, resulting in the low first quarter numbers.  Bouncing back, the median prices for March and April were both $114,000 and a look at May closings and pendings indicates that the median price will again rise to the mid $120's. Have we hit bottom?  A lot will depend on the quantity of foreclosures and how ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
If you have lived in Spartanburg County for any length of time you have noticed the growth in population in our area.  Ever wonder where they come from?  According to the National Association of Realtors 2007 survey there were 5,680 relocations to the area.  Although many were SC residence, 54% moved here from other states.  Leading the way was North Carolina followed closely by Florida. For those who remained in the state most came from or immediate area.  Cherokee, Union, Laurens and Anderson counties were at the top of the list but Greenville was by far the largest group with 1228 relocations to Spartanburg County.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
The South Carolina Supreme Court has ordered a halt to foreclosure proceedings.  This order was made in an effort to allow home owners to be given additional time to qualify for the Mortgage Modification Program and potentially remain in their home and avoid foreclosure. From a real estate point of view, this is a positive step that should help stabilize the current market.  Not all, but many home owners will be able to remain in their homes and make their mortgage payments if they qualify for the program.  This should have an impact in two ways; reduce current inventories of homes for sale and increase the average price of homes that are sold therefore increasing property values.
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
When you're moving, especially to a new area, it can be a pretty daunting task.  You really need to have someone you can trust in your new location that knows the area and is qualified to answer all of your questions or at least get you going in the right direction.  You also need to do your homework prior to the move. There are several key areas that will affect you bottom line in terms of money when purchasing your new home: •·         Learn about the culture of the new city's real estate market.  It's crucial to know whether homes in the new location typically sell close to the asking price or substantially below.  Know what items normally convey.  Learn about local taxes as it's related to your purchase and make sure you investigate zoning and neighborhood use restriction. •·       ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
According to the National Association of Realtors, 83% of home buyers and sellers used a Realtor.  Based on their survey here are the benefits provided by the Real Estate Agent during the purchase: Home buyers:  57% benefited by helping the buyer understand the process, 47% helped point out unnoticed features/faults with the property, 40% improved buyer's knowledge of search areas, 38% to negotiate better sales contract terms, 35% to shorten the buyers home search and 32% to negotiate a better price. Home Sellers:  91% to list and market  their home on the Internet, 75% to provide a broad range of services and manage most aspects of the sales transaction, 55% to negotiate contract price and terms and 20% to help price the home  competitively and help get the home sold within a specific ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
If you plan on selling your home in the near future, there are a number of things you can do to "Spruce" up the home and make it more inviting to potential buyers.  Most of these projects are not very expensive and can add a lot of "WOW!" to your home.  New paint, updated light fixtures and bathroom fixtures as well as an inviting entrance and curb appeal can all help get potential buyers into your home.  As for additions and remodeling; they too will help position your home so it competes much better in today's market.  However, don't expect to get all your money back from your investment.  Latest statistics show that certain projects will bring you a greater return than others.  Kitchens and Bathrooms lead the way with an 80% to 85% return on your investment.  Depending on the age of ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
When buyers look at purchasing a re-sale home they are always concerned about the condition of the appliances, plumbing, heating, air conditioning and other systems.  And although the home has been inspected there is no assurance that something will not fail after the buyer moves in. The Home Warranty covers most of these systems for the first year after the buyer moves in and is renewable from year to year.  The warranty also covers the seller during the listing period, so if something does go wrong, you're covered too.  Not only could this save you thousands of dollars, a home warranty gives the purchaser "piece of mind," making your home a more sound investment.    
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Pre-Inspection can save you money and heartbreak.  Imagine getting an acceptable offer on your home and then having thousands of $$$$$ worth of unknown repairs that are needed, or worse yet, the potential buyer gets scared and backs out.  You may think your home is in good shape, but hidden defects behind the walls and under the house can cost thousands to repair.  You could be left with renegotiating your price or spending unplanned money at the last minute to make repairs. Experience shows that Pre-inspections help you get things in order ahead of time, for the least cost, while preserving your final negotiated price and helping to sell your home.  Your Realtor should also use the pre-inspection and repairs as part of their marketing plan. The second inspection you should consider is ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Absorption rate is about supply and demand.  It should be used to help the sellers understand where their home is positioned relative to competitive offerings in terms of anticipated days on market.  The formula is not complex, but you must have data representative of the specific market your home is in (i.e. size, age, location, features). If you need to move in 6 months, but the absorption rate is 12 months, you will have to reposition your home such that it will sell in less time.  In our area Appraisers typically do not use absorption rate as part of valuing your home, but it is essential in positioning your home competitively and should be updated every month in a rapidly changing market.  
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Although the Upstate of South Carolina has not been exposed to the same fate as many other parts of the country, we are in a Buyer's Market.  There's a surplus of new and existing homes and there are fewer potential purchasers for the homes that are available.  It is indeed a great time to purchase. Unlike a Seller's Market, with low inventories and lots of potential buyers, you have to do more than place a sign in the front yard.  You have to properly position your home based on the competitive offerings with the right price and the right product. For the sellers, they face a challenge in positioning their home in order to get it sold in the shortest amount of time and at a fair market value.  Most home owners don't understand that they must get their home "Pristine" both inside and ou...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
With the lower interest rates, homes are more affordable than ever.  Interest rates are reasonably stable at around 5% for qualified buyers and as low as 4.25%.  When compared to 7.5% rates just a few years ago purchasers have a lot more buying power.  Today home buyers can purchase a very nice three bedroom, two bath single family home for $120,000 and pay $626 per month*.  This is much less than rent for a similar property.  For First Time Home Buyers, who qualify for the Tax Credit of $8,000, it's like living free for the first year. Move-up buyers with a current mortgage of $200,000 at 7.5% are paying $1398 per month*, can now move up to a mortgage amount of $250,000 and pay about $100 less*.  If the Mortgage amount is $300,000 the move-up is to $400,000 for the same payment*. Downs...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
Economics wizard we are not!  As Realtors® we take a different view of how the Economic Stimulus Package will impact those looking to purchase a new home or sell their existing home. The key point of the plan is to stimulate the market from the bottom up.  Give first time home buyers an incentive to purchase a home ($8,000.00 Tax Credit!).  Many of these will be existing homes and those selling their home have the opportunity to move up to a more expensive home.  As they enter the market place they too stimulate the market by moving up to a more expensive home and so forth. The other key area is to help people keep their homes from going into foreclosure and therefore reduce the inventory of existing homes.  These foreclosures (and short sales) account for as much as 30% of the market i...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
   If you work with buyers you know many of them find the home of their dreams but are reluctant to "pull the trigger" and write an offer.  Making that commitment can be difficult.  They use a number of excuses such as we need to sleep on it, there is one more house we want to see next weekend, I want to talk with my Mom and Dad first and so forth.  Great Buyers Agents will often put things in perspective by asking;   "If you delay your decision and decide in a couple of days to make an offer and I have to tell you that this house is under contract, are you going to be happy with that?"  The answer is almost always NO!  For them, the fear of loss is greater than the anticipation of gain.                                                                                                     ...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
It's easy for an agent to get caught up in all the hype.  Even experienced agents in this shifting market search for ways to improve their business and sometimes get away from the things that have made them successful. When we first got into real estate, every agent gave us different advice.  One said work FSBO's, another Expired Listings, others Farming and so forth.  We tried them all and nothing worked.  It didn't work because no one told us we had to be consistent in our efforts so after 90 days or so we gave up. We identified that the problem was lack of training and leadership with our office.  We made a move and today we've finally figured it out and have focused on new ways to perform these task (the ones that work for us) in a more efficient and effective manner.  We learned th...
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
So often we see agents get off their game plan with "Petty Things" that end up ruining their day.  A lot of it comes from getting caught up with "Water Cooler Talk" and has nothing to do with running their Real Estate Business! Then, to make things even worse, they grab hold of the "Sweaty Things" and share them with the rest of the office.  This in turn disrupts everyone else's day. Talk about Killing Productivity!                                                                
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By Yvette Gardner
(Keller Williams Realty, Spartanburg, SC)
If you are truly in the Real Estate Business and you are running a business (not a hobby), failure is not an option.  However, if you have not changed your business in these shifting times failure may be the ultimate outcome. Change is difficult, but it must come as the market changes.  Expensive printed advertising has been replaced with ZERO Budget Marketing.  Cash on hand and Cash flow has taken priority over "you have to spend money to make money" and new strategies have been implemented to increase revenue while reducing expenses. If you are not sure what these strategies are or how to implement them you should ask your owner, broker or team leader.  If you are not satisfied with their answers or they simply don't work, you should seek out those who do know and move your license.  ...
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